Teddy's In The Swing

HAMMERS strike partnership of Teddy Sheringham and Marlon Harewood have been leading from the front in recent weeks.

The pair have been the only names on the score-sheet over the last five games, while Sheringham boasts a record of five goals in his last six appearances.

Alan Pardew would like nothing better than to start the pair against Coventry tomorrow, but he admits that a slight injury to Marlon's ankle and the toll taken by Teddy's hectic match schedule is a concern.

"There's a good chance that they will both start on Saturday," assured Alan. "The pairing has looked as good as it ever has in the last few games.

"Marlon took a knock on his ankle against Burnley had came off as a precaution. We've monitored it over the last couple of days but we think he's going to be okay."

As for Sheringham, Pards is aware that three games in a week would be a big ask of the 39-year-old. But the Hammers boss admitted that Teddy's talismanic form is vital to the team's success.

"Teddy is in great form at the moment," said Alan, "and his importance to the team is massive.

"We'd love to rest him up and pick and choose his games, but with out position that simply isn't possible. We're chasing hard, we need as many wins as we can get, and there's no real chance of protecting him.

"It's important that we push all the way to the end of the season, and to that we need Teddy fit.

"The promotion race is really gathering pace now and we're hoping to have Teddy available to feature in all our remaining games.

"We certainly have dialogue over his training schedule and it isn't as intensive as some of the other players. We monitor his fitness very closely and Teddy is a great professional who knows his body better than anyone."

However, when he does give the former England star a day-off, Pards is a little sceptical about Teddy's extra-curricular activities.

"Whenever I give him a day off he plays a round of golf," moaned Pards. "I've been paying for a few golf buggies recently, just to make sure he gets a rest!"